Insel Pag

Pag is one of the biggest Croatian islands. Guests of the island of Pag can choose between accommodation in modern apartments and rooms, private villas and houses, hotels and hostels or camping sites. Your stay on the island of Pag is an opportunity for excursions to some of the largest Croatian national parks located nearby. The Kornati National Park is an archipelago of small islands and reefs of breathtaking beauty. On the mainland, but not too far away, are the famous Plitvice Lakes. There are also the Krka National Park, the National Park Paklenica and Northern Velebit National Park, and on the island of Pag there are two ornithological reserve Velo and Malo Blato.

Pag town was built in its current location in the 15th century, based to the urban plan by the famous Croatian architect Juraj Dalmatinac, with the central square and four streets that divide the town into 4 districts. At the beginning of 20th century, the town expanded outside its walls, and the opening of the first hotel in the town in Zvonimirova street dates back to that period. However, tourism began to develop intensively only with the construction of the Pag Bridge in 1968. The largest sand beach close to the historic center is Prosika, and the Bay of Pag has 27 km of sand, gravel and stone beaches, among which the most famous and the most beautiful are Zrće, Janjeće Vode, Beritnica, Sveti Duh, Sveti Marko, Dubrava, Bošana, Caska, Ručica, Malin, Veliki Zaton, Bijele Stijene, Veli Bok, Mali Bok and Kotica.

If you travel from Pag towards the north you will reach Novalja, the main tourist centre of the island close to which is located the famous zrće beach. Zrće during the summer is turned into an open air discotheque, and many compare it with the resorts in Ibiza. If you have decided to spend your summer holiday partying until the early hours of the morning, don't miss the atmosphere of Zrće. If a more peaceful holiday interests you, then seek out some of the secluded bays and beaches.

On the most northern tip of the island of Pag, about 20 km from Novalja, nestled in a healthy silence broken only by the song of the crickets and the sound of the waves, is Lun. The village itself is not next to the sea, rather to get to the sea and the small port you have to go down to the village of Tovarnele, 1 km away. Along Tovarnele there are the beautiful beaches and promenade with views of the neighbouring small island of Dolfin and the islands of Cres and Lošinj. On Dolfin there is a lighthouse and the name of the island is due to the dolphins that often visit this part of Pag's waters.

Pag is one of the biggest Croatian islands and as its position encloses the Velebit channel, it is often exposed to strong gales of the Bora wind. Because of this, a large part of the island is karst and mainly used for grazing sheep, from whose milk is made the highly regarded Paški cheese. This cheese is famous far and wide for its special taste, thanks to the aromatic herbs which grow on the island and which the sheep graze on before being milked. In order for the cheese reaches its quality it is immersed in olive oil, and afterwards it is left there for a long time to ripen. In contrast to the barren land which covers the larger part of the island and reminds one of the moon's surface, the smaller part is covered with fruitful valleys and there wine grapes are cultivated. Pag is also famous for its saltworks, and even in the middle ages saltpans were the cause of bitter disputes between Zadar and Pag. After 1409 when the whole of Dalmatia fell under the control of the Venetians, Venice gained an income of 80,000 dukats annually from Pag's salt. There is one other specific thing about the island, which its inhabitants have been proud of for centuries. That is Pag lace or roželica, an interwined pattern, in the shape of a star, rose or other geometrical shape. Walking down the steets of the old town of Pag, at the same time the central place on the island, you can observe how under the fingers of the valuable women of Pag, real little masterpieces are born. Most often you will come across them when they are sitting on a bench on their doorstep, while their hands readily weave their knitting needles. In the time of the Habsburgs, Pag knitting was so famous that two Pag «lacers» were living at the Vienna court working for the the emperor and his family. A large number of tablecloths, curtains, blankets, and the characteristic Pag folk-dress were decorated with Pag lace, as well as the facades of local churches.

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